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Resident died when left alone in cold rain for several hours

Published on January 5th, 2009

St. Louis Post dispatch had a story about another resident who died of exposure when the facility failed to supervise her. The resident was left alone outside for hours and died of exposure.   Interviews of employees at the Northgate Park Nursing Home provide no explanation for how the resident ended up dying of exposure right outside the door to the facility. Fannie Mae Rooks was found dead in her wheelchair in the cold and rain.  Officers have talked with much of the staff, trying to learn how Rooks got to an outside smoking area sometime after the 9 p.m. rounds.  Investigators are trying to figure out how Rooks remained unnoticed there for several hours.

CommuniCare Heath Services owns the nursing home.  No employee has been disciplined or fired.

Rooks was found in a courtyard about 2 a.m. in the cold rain. Temperatures that night were between 36 and 40 degrees. Rooks was outside for several hours because she was last seen by nursing staff at 9 p.m. rounds.  The family believes that the staff tried to cover up the circumstances by bringing her body inside and trying to "clean her up and dry her off" before calling authorities.

 

Joe Pioletti
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